Review: Yeasayer — Odd Blood
I’m just going to use up my snark quota for the whole post right here: halfway through the new Yeasayer album, Odd Blood I thought “Hey, finally, an Animal Collective record I can enjoy!” That’s not exactly fair to either band, though there’s plenty of chaos and giddy whooping on Odd Blood to lend itself to AC comparisons. (I don’t hate Animal Collective, but I was recently trapped in a car with my 17-year-old step-sister and her boyfriend while they circulated through their least accessible, most noise-heavy tracks. It made me realize that maybe I’m too old for this shit.)
All Hour Cymbals, the band’s 2007 debut had muddy production values that made the songs feel just out of reach, but Odd Blood is so crisp it practically reaches through your headphones. It’s nice to actually hear what the lead vocalist sounds like when he isn’t buried deep in the mix. See also: “Tightrope,” their contribution to Dark Was the Night. The album’s front half is the strongest; opener “The Children” promises plenty of avant-garde shenanigans but is immediately contradicted by the catchy single “Ambling Alp.” “Madder Red” and “I Remember” take a dreamier approach, slowing the record down for a bit before ramping back up again for “O.N.E.,” the collection’s second single. Starting with “Love Me Girl,” the album starts to unravel. “Love Me Girl” is all over the place, re-starting several times, but the hyper-focused “Rome” could use more of that kind of variation.
Yeasayer came out of left-field with All Hour Cymbals, and confounded indie rock audiences who loved them despite (or because of?) their decidedly world-music flair. On Odd Blood, the band sounds like they are trying to counteract the squish potential by taking a slightly more experimental approach. The album accomplishes this, without abandoning the new-age eclecticism that defined their initial success.
Listen: Yeasayer — “Ambling Alp”
Buy Odd Blood at Insound